Nine reasons

Negen redenen voor internationaal vrijwilligerswerk

Eind september heb ik een lange periode van bestuurlijk werk voor het beroep en de beroepsverenigingen afgesloten. 6 jaar was ik voorzitter van de Ooa, 7 jaar Trustee namens de Ooa voor onze internationale koepel ICMCI en 6 jaar had ik zitting in het Executive Committee (Excom) van ICMCI. Het heeft veel tijd gekost, maar ik heb er erg veel voldoening uit gehaald.

In het kader van deze column gaat het te ver om te noemen welke grote vooruitgang ik heb mogen meemaken en soms ook mijn vinger in had. Vooral bij ICMCI zijn er mooie slagen gemaakt. Op verzoek van het huidige Excom heb ik de 9 redenen om een vrijwilligersfunctie bij ICMCI op je te nemen, genoemd in mijn afscheidsspeech, nog eens samengevat. Het is zeker ook een aanmoediging voor alle collega’s die dit lezen, want  ook dit vak moet het hebben van die enkeling die dit avontuur aan wil.

Het Engels is geen probleem naar ik aanneem!

9 reasons why to volunteer for ICMCI

Helping our beautiful profession to grow and to develop further, also on a worldwide scale, is not everybody’s piece of cake. Especially when this has to be done from a volunteer position with hardly any remuneration or even reimbursement of costs. “You must be crazy to accept such a side job” many colleagues tell you. But there are good arguments to do this anyway. In my final speech ending 13 years of “duty” for ICMCI as a Trustee and member of Excom (6 years) I have listed a few.

1. Giving something back from all you have learnt to the profession.

First and for all there must be an inner fire burning to return some essentials from what one has learnt in a lifetime of consulting to the profession. Sometimes even one’s own children, stepping into this world, already take advantage of this work!

2. Creating an international network.

Also for consultants who are not very active across borders, it is very useful to build and maintain an international network of colleagues all over the globe. The world becomes smaller and smaller and you may leverage a lot from good contacts abroad in- and outside the profession.

3. Meet and get to know very good new colleagues.

Many of us circle around in a small group of colleagues and are admired by clients. But working together with brilliant people outside our usual suspects is rare. ICMCI collects a wonderful bunch of very different nature. Not all brilliant, some even a trouble to work with, but all and all unique to collaborate with. They are lifting your professional life.

4. Learning, learning, learning.

Is there something else to focus on in our profession? ICMCI offers a very special surrounding to keep on learning. About the profession and the worldwide standards, about running a “small UNO” as I used to call ICMCI, about cultures and strange habits, about methods and technics, about doing business abroad, about international organizations like EBRD, and so on, and so on.

5. Business development opportunities.

Okay, this should not be a main reason, but yes there are concrete possibilities for billable work using the network you are entering when volunteering for ICMCI. Not direct, even not indirect, but when to meet people you may get to know where and when opportunities arise. And information is key. Apart from this your credibility is rising and that will make you more wanted for potential clients!

6. Promoting your country.

ICMCI is a platform consisting of nearly 50 countries. Between them, I am sure, are countries from which you don’t know their capital….. So promoting your country is something. Every meeting and congress is an opportunity in this respect and often explicit attention is given to country presentations. You may even step into the possibility to organize an ICMCI meeting or congress! It has attracted presidents and prime ministers as key note speakers.

7. Make a lot of new deer friends, sometimes for lifetime.

Many of the volunteers, especially when you are around a couple of years, create a new circle of good friends. People like you, often abroad, but in the same profession and phase of life. Good to meet outside ICMCI!

8. Becoming a “man/woman of the world”.

As a consultant you should think global and act local. But how to think global is you are confined to your country borders or even your own town. Become a man of woman of the world, with the world as a playing ground. Not afraid to meet others abroad, use a foreign language, and get accustomed to other cultures and ways of doing.

9. Develop and grow yourself, stretch your limits and reach your utmost in a Maslow way!

Any hesitations left to enter a volunteer job in ICMCI ?(or even in your own IMC. connected to ICMCI?)

October 9th 2013

Rob Wagenaar (